The Shia Waqf Board on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was in favor of settling the Ayodhya land dispute peacefully in the interest of “unity, integrity, and honor of this great country” by relinquishing their one-third share in the disputed land the Allahabad High Court had granted to Muslim petitioners so that they can build a Ram temple.
The Shia Waqf Board said the custodian of the Babri mosque was a Shia and the Sunni Waqf Board or anyone else is not the representative of Muslims in India.
Shia Waqf Board’s chairperson Waseem Rizvi said, “There was never a mosque on that site in Ayodhya and there can never be a mosque there. It is the birthplace of Lord Ram and only a Ram temple will be built. Sympathisers of Babar are destined to lose.”
Last year as well the Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh had told the apex court that it was willing to build a mosque in a Muslim-dominated area, at an equitable distance from the Ram Janmabhoomi site. It said that rather than partitioning the site in Ayodhya, the proposed mosque could be located at a reasonable distance from the disputed site to avoid any clashes in the future.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer was hearing arguments on referring the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid’ case to a constitution bench for further consideration. Senior lawyer Rajeev Dhawan, representing the Sunni Waqf Board, urged the Supreme Court, considering the importance of the case, that it should be placed before a constitution bench.
A senior advocate, Rajiv Dhawan, appearing on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board, said that the Shia board was unnecessarily indulging in a baseless act of charity. “The Shia Waqf Board has no locus to speak in this case. Just as the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan, the Hindu Taliban destroyed Babri Masjid”.
In 2010, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court had ruled in favour of partitioning the land equally among three parties—the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the ‘Ram Lalla’ (infant Lord Ram), represented by the Hindu Mahasabha. However, the verdict was stayed by the Supreme Court in 2011.
On 30 May 2017, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court framed criminal conspiracy charges against senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya by a mob in 1992. The leaders include former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, union minister Uma Bharti and former union minister Murli Manohar Joshi.
Amongst the long drawn dispute over the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid’ case, which has also been skillfully used as a tool by the political parties to play nasty politics, not very long ago, a startling revelation had come to light about the Ram Mandir saga when the former principal secretary to the UP government Yogendra Narain, in his book, revealed that the former PM, Narasimha Rao hailing from the Indian National Congress knew about a temple under Babri Masjid, but chose to remain silent.
He had also reiterated that BJP did not want the demolition of the temple. The bureaucrat while talking to Times Now had said, “I have a feeling that it was not the BJP party which wanted the demolition. It was these as we later found, Kar sevaks who had come from Maharashtra and other places who had very intense feelings about this, who had brought all this equipment to break [the mosque]. I would not like to take a political view of this, but I would reiterate that the PM Rao was fully aware of ASI findings.